ATO to ‘hand-hold’ larger firms through myGovID transition
The Tax Office will look to deploy a “field force” to guide larger firms through their transition to myGovID, as it urges tax agents to start making the switch before the March deadline.
From 1 April 2020, myGovID and Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM) will replace AUSkey as the new secure login service.
MyGovID will be a new digital identity provider that utilises encryption and cryptographic technology as well as the security features on a device – such as fingerprint, face or password, allowing the user to access government online services.
Speaking on an ATO webcast, assistant commissioner Colin Walker said that while the tax office have been working on developing a number of fact sheets and resources to help agents make the move to myGovID, it has become apparent that larger firms would need more support.
“For the mid-tiers and the others, it became obvious we will need something else. You will be able to ring a telephony side of things and get some help for that process,” said Mr Walker.
“On top of that we will put together a field force who will not only talk to people by phone but will also do visits as necessary. If you ask us for help, we will send someone out there to talk to you, to show you how to do things on the ground. We think, particularly with the mid-tier firms, it may be necessary just to handhold you through there.
“We have a program for the top 50-odd agents, really complex ones, where we are supporting them by giving them advice as to how to get myGovIDs, linking RAM, all the things you need to do.”
Mr Walker also urged practitioners not to hold off until 31 March 2020 before making the transition.
“Take the opportunity to get things prepared early. We will continue to create more information. As we hear more problems or issues people are having, we'll do more fact sheets and get them up on the websites as well,” said Mr Walker.
“But don't wait. If you come to the end of March and haven't done it, and all of a sudden nothing works, you may well be in a large group of people who are going to really struggle because we won't be able to help you as quickly. So do it now. Take the time to do it.”
New identity documents
The list of accepted Australian identity documents have recently been expanded, with birth certificates now being accepted alongside passports, driver’s licences and Medicare cards.
Practitioners will need two of such identity documents to set up myGovID.
For people who do not have the required Australian identity documents, the ATO will begin onboarding them in March 2020, as explained by ATO deputy commissioner John Dardo.
This group could consist of offshore employees, a non-resident working in Australia or an Australian without the right documentation.